Brawl erupts in Montgomery after white boaters attack Black city worker


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By Josh Moon, Alabama Political Reporter

The melee, captured in dozens of videos posted to social media, turned into a national story Sunday.

Montgomery’s city-owned riverboat, Harriot II, which was trying to dock as the fight erupted (Alabama Travel)

Multiple people were arrested by Montgomery Police on Saturday evening following a large brawl that broke out on the city’s Riverfront dock after a group of white boaters attacked a Black dock worker apparently without provocation. 

The fight escalated when city workers and others joined the fight a short time later and fought with the boaters. 

“Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a statement released on social media on Sunday. “Warrants have been signed and justice will be served. This was an unfortunate incident which never should have occurred. As our police department investigates these intolerable actions, we should not become desensitized to violence of any kind in our community. Those who choose violence will be held accountable by our criminal justice system.”

MPD has not yet released the names of those arrested. A city official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police officials late Sunday afternoon were still sorting through video and witness statements and assessing charges. 

One of the boaters, Chase Shipman, the owner of Vasser’s Mini Mart in Selma, posted on Facebook and admitted to being involved in the melee. Although Shipman claimed he didn’t take part in the fighting and wanted to stop it because he knew it was wrong to attack the dock worker, video of the incident appears to show him punching the dock worker repeatedly while he was on the ground. By late Sunday afternoon, Vasser’s Mini Mart had removed its online presence completely and listed its location as permanently closed on Google. 

Read more about the attack in the original article.

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